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Need advice on deployment of campus-wide mail system
Hello! For the next semester, we are planning to have our student
population using Unix-Pine. We are going to have a couple of "login
servers" with Pine clients, and a couple of "IMAP servers." The latter
will be SPARCstation 1000 machines running Solaris 2.3.
One option we have considered is as follows:
Have the IMAP servers share a dual-ported RAID package. Each IMAP server
would have half of the RAID disks locally-mounted and half NFS-mounted.
Then, each user would have an account on each IMAP server, but this would
be transparent to him. He could simply point to IMAP.ASU.EDU, which
would resolved to IMAPa.ASU.EDU or IMAPb.ASU.EDU, depending on the load.
Another advantage would be that, if one of the machines went down, we
could transfer the disks to the other one.
Has anyone out there implemented such a system? Does anyone see a
significant problem with this?
Another question is whether we should use ZMailer or sendmail V8. We
already have a modified mail.local which delivers to home directories.
(This was a hand-me-down.) Is it involved to get ZMailer to deliver to
home directories and take quotas into account?
We don't need a very smart mailer, since it would simply send all outgoing
mail to our "Post Office." However, ZMailer supports posting to
newsgroups, which we'll want in the future.
Would running 2 copies of sendmail against the same (NFS-shared) file space
be a problem? We could have a higher-priority MX record for one of the
IMAP servers, but the mailer on the other one could potentially be
started if the first mailer were busy? Would ZMailer be a better choice
in this regard, since it can be installed in "client-server" mode?
Back to the IMAP servers, another option would be to divide our users
between them. Then we wouldn't have to worry about NFS idiosyncrasies,
but would be hard-pressed to balance the load and tell users which IMAP
server to point to.
Yes another approach would be to start filling the first IMAP server, and
once we're done with it, start using the next one.
Any comments will be greatly appreciated.